ANNIVERSARY GIFT IDEAS

HISTORY

Until 1937 only the first and milestone anniversaries were represented by materials. Then the American National Retail Jewellery Association issued a comprehensive list for wedding anniversaries up to and including the fifteenth - then every fifth year after that up to the sixtieth. The current list includes both traditional and contemporary gift ideas.

Customarily, gifts given or exchanged in the early years of marriage were practical ones, to help the couple set up home. Later in the marriage, when the couple would have acquired what they needed, gifts became more luxurious.

ETIQUETTE

Generally speaking, the first fifteen years of anniversary celebrations are just between the couple. Later it is often celebrated more widely and often organised by children of the marriage. This is usually a meal or a party. It is strongly advised that the couple is told about this beforehand, in case they were making plans of their own!

Invitations should be sent out at least four weeks before the event. This does not imply the need for a gift - in fact many couples don't want gifts and request as such. If you want to bring one, it is advised that you do so after the event so as not to embarrass the hosts or guests who did not bring a gift.

If traditional gifts are given, it is usual for the couple to open them after the celebrations. Personalised gifts are more special and normally contain the names of the couple and the number of the anniversary.

For a sit-down meal, it is customary for the main table to include the oldest son, seated next to the mother, the eldest daughter, seated next to the father and also the couple's best man and maid of honour from their wedding, plus their respective spouses.

Typically, even a very informal affair includes a short speech. Often one of the children say a few complimentary words about their parents followed by a response by one or both of the couple in order to thank the organisers.

Above all, any anniversary celebration is one of a couple's love for each other and can be as large, small, formal or informal as you want. With careful planning - and the use of our chart - the celebration will be thoroughly enjoyed and remembered forever!

CHART

Not all anniversaries have a gemstone, flower or colour so we have included those that have any of these plus variations. Don't forget that some flowers may not be in season for a specific anniversary.

ANNIVERSARY GIFTS CHART
Anniversary Gem or Precious Metal Colour Flowers Modern Gifts Traditional Gifts
1st Fresh water pearl Papyrus Yellow Arum Lily or Pansy Clocks Paper
2nd Rose Quartz or Garnet Linen White Aster or Cosmos China Cotton
3rd Crystal Fawn Azalea or Fuchsia Crystal or Glass Leather
4th Amethyst or Topaz Green Begonia or Geranium Appliances Fruit or flowers
5th Turquoise Turquoise Red Carnation or Daisy Silverware Wood
6th Garnet or Amethyst White White Carnation or Calla Lily Wood Candy or Iron
7th Lapis lazuli or Black Onyx Off White Red Chrysanthemum or Jack-in-the-pulpit Desk sets Wood or Copper
8th Garnet or Amethyst Bronze White Chrysanthemum or Clematis Linen or lace Bronze or Pottery
9th Tiger's Eye or Amethyst Terracotta Daffodil or Poppy Leather Pottery or Willow
10th Black Onyx Silver Daisy or Daffodil Diamond jewellery Tin or Aluminium
11th Turquoise or Hematite Turquoise Forget-me-not or Morning Glory Fashion jewellery Steel
12th Agate or Jade or Coloured Gems Oyster White Gardenia or Peony Pearls Silk or Linen
13th Malachite or Citrine or Moonstone White Globe Amaranth or Hollyhock Textiles Lace
14th Moss Agate Ivory Hibiscus or Dahlia Gold Jewellery Gold jewellery
15th Crystal Ruby Red White Jasmine or Rose Watches Crystal
16th Aquamarine or Peridot Silver Yellow Jasmine
17th Citrine or Amethyst Yellow Larkspur
18th Opal Blue Orchid
19th Topaz or Aquamarine Bronze Oxeye Daisy
20th Green or White Emerald Emerald Green or White Purple Iris or Day Lily Platinum China
21st Iolite Orange Pansy
22nd Green Pink Rose
23rd Imperial Topaz Silver White Rose
24th Tanzanite Lavender Red Rose
25th Sterling Silver Silver Red & White Rose or Iris Silver Silver
28th Orchid
30th Pearl Green Rosebud or Sweet pea Diamond Pearl
35th Coral Coral Sweet Pea Jade Coral
40th Ruby Ruby Red Tulip/Nasturtium Ruby Ruby
45th Alexandrite Sapphire Red Verbena Sapphire Sapphire
50th Gold or Imperial Gold or Golden Topaz Gold Violet Gold Gold
55th Emerald Emerald Green Emerald Emerald
60th Diamond Diamond White Diamond Diamond
65th Star Sapphire Sky Blue
70th Platinum Platinum Platinum Diamond
75th White Diamond Diamond White Diamond Diamond